I thought it was high time for a blog post explaining all my recent activities, because training to become a surf lifeguard at the grand old age of 40 could be seen as a very obscure thing to do. Even more so for me, because I am a creature who loves her little comfort zone. It’s cosy in my shell and warm – everything is safe here. But here’s why I took the plunge recently and trained to become a lifeguard:
It’s been a whirlwind few weeks. I finally feel like the dust has settled a bit, so I can return to my online space and pause, reflect and write. I know travel stories are not always interesting to people who are not planning on visiting the same place, so I won’t dwell on what we did or what we saw, but rather on what my trip to Greece taught me – because there was a lot to learn.
That’s what makes travel of this sort so valuable actually…the time to simply think about things, away from daily demands or people (lovely as they are) who require your attention. It’s the ultimate luxury, time to think. Anyway, this is what I learned while on holiday in Greece for 10 days:
I read something recently by writer Liz Gilbert on the joy of sitting at a restaurant alone, enjoying a meal, and simply observing the life around you. It really resonated, especially yesterday – as I sat at a sidewalk cafe under an Athens sky flinging the odd rain drop on to my head, and sipped on my beer, and lazily ate my salad. I noticed the couple at the table next to me exchange a sexy glance. I saw the waitress and waiter giggle about something behind their fists. I glimpsed a bird wheeling above. My sister had already headed back home to England so I asked for a table for one, ate my lunch alone, and it was WONDERFUL. Some people get lonely. I get energised.
It’s been quiet around here because I’ve been floundering a bit. Which takes a lot to admit, isn’t that weird? We have no trouble posting all the shiny brilliant parts of our lives on social media, but when it comes to the tricky parts, the stressful parts and the sad parts – we suddenly get all shy. I suppose sadness is personal, it feels more private, while we are more comfortable with our happiness being public. This all adds up to a perfect storm, as we’re constantly seeing only the happy parts of someone’s life. It’s completely distorted.
I’m not talking about mothers who are terminally ill or really suffering. That is different.
No, this is more of a guide of what to do if the mom in your household is quite under the weather (maybe it’s the flu). Why do I need to write a guide like this? Because I’ve noticed that moms do so much of the caring every day, and are so capable at life in general, that when they are sick the rest of the household thinks the mom can just carry on with life and do everything they usually do, just a little bit slower. NOT TRUE.
It’s been so nice not feeling guilty about not blogging. Tralala. It’s given me some time to chill and I’ve spent my time not blogging watching some series, including Mad Men. Yes, I know, I’m about 6 years late to the party, but what can I say, I’m a late adopter as they say in marketing terms.
It’s been fascinating (and appalling) learning more about the sexism, racism and homophobia that was so commonplace in the 1960s in New York. There’s also one scene that blew my mind where they go for a picnic and then once they’re done, Don Draper chucks a beer can into the pristine forest and his wife simply flicks the picnic blanket up and leaves all the trash lying on the grass. Apparently the researchers for this show tried to be as accurate as possible and this attitude towards littering was very commonplace at the time.